How to Write an Effective Feedback Letter: Guidelines and Examples

Damien Adler discusses his experience using referral feedback letters as a marketing tool for private practices. In addition to being a co-founder of Power Diary, Damien is a registered psychologist and a former private practice owner. He is passionate about empowering health practitioners to grow their clinics while reducing admin work. Damien is known publicly through his 13 years as a regular guest on ABC Radio, as well as contributing to articles appearing in The Age, Women’s Weekly, Madison Magazine, Sunday Life, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. Damien has a background in health administration, previously holding senior positions in public health services.

The unknown voice came from behind me in a crowded room of GPs and Practice Managers. My ego instantly generated a list of possible answers… effective treatments, awesome team of clinicians, patients love us…

I turned to see the senior GP of a large local practice dryly smiling. It was not the answer I was expecting…or hoping for. Naturally, I wanted to know more, and so I quizzed him. I soon realized just how powerful feedback letters can be. Ever since this conversation about 11 years ago I’ve been interested in what makes an effective and powerful feedback letter. I found it’s not just about making them short, but also about what to include. This is a quick summary of what I’ve learned so far, but if you’ve got your own tips please send them to us. I’d love to get your thoughts!

Giving constructive feedback is an essential part of helping employees, students, or clients improve. A well-written feedback letter allows you to provide clear, actionable recommendations in a way that inspires growth.

Follow these best practices when composing a feedback letter

Why Write a Feedback Letter?

Putting feedback in writing has several advantages over verbal feedback

  • Clarity – A letter allows you to clearly explain your perspective and suggestions without interruption. This reduces miscommunication

  • Thoughtfulness – Composing a letter requires more forethought and care to ensure your feedback is complete yet sensitive.

  • Record – Written feedback creates a documented track record, should questions later arise about what was conveyed.

  • Reflection – For the receiver, a letter provides a chance to thoroughly process and reflect on the feedback at their own pace.

Overall, a letter serves as a constructive, lasting reference for future improvement.

How to Structure Your Feedback Letter

When organizing your thoughts into a letter, follow these basic sections:

1. Open with a Greeting

As in any letter, begin with a salutation. Use their name and avoid overly generic openings.

  • Good: Dear [first name],
  • Bad: To whom it may concern,

This personalizes the letter.

2. Note Areas of Strength

Before constructive criticism, highlight positive aspects of their performance:

  • “Your presentation skills have improved tremendously this quarter. You speak with poise and engage the audience.”

This softens the blow of critiques.

3. Provide Constructive Criticism

Offer pragmatic, solution-oriented feedback focused on specific behaviors:

  • “When leading meetings, you tend to interrupt participants before letting them fully share their ideas. Being more patient could lead to more input and collaboration.”

This gives clear direction for improvement.

4. Recommend Next Steps

Suggest realistic actions to implement based on your feedback:

  • “To build active listening skills, I recommend sitting back more, taking notes, and summarizing what you heard before responding.”

This equips the receiver with tools to act on the feedback.

5. Express Encouragement

End by expressing confidence in their ability to improve:

  • “With some additional focus in this area, I’m excited to see how your leadership skills progress by the next quarter.”

This motivates change through positive reinforcement.

6. Close With a Send-off

Wrap up with a closing salutation and your name. This completes the communication loop:

  • “Best Regards, [Your name]”

Sample Feedback Letter

Here is an example feedback letter applying the above framework:

Dear Lee,

I wanted to provide you with some feedback regarding your performance this past quarter. You have made excellent progress optimizing campaign response rates through your data analysis skills. By quickly identifying and addressing issues, you helped improve results by 15% over the quarter. Your diligence and proactive approach are impressive.

One area that could use additional focus is how you communicate analysis findings to the team. In meetings, you sometimes overwhelm participants by diving deeply into the numbers without explaining your conclusions upfront. To engage them more effectively, try opening with the key takeaway, then walking through the supporting data. Summarizing the impact for company goals also helps maintain perspective.

To further enhance your communication skills, I suggest preparing 2-3 key points and revising longer presentations to highlight trends and insights. Limiting overly technical details will help hold the team’s attention when sharing data. I’m happy to work through an upcoming presentation with you beforehand to put this advice into practice.

With refinement in this area, I’m confident your skills at simplifying and presenting complex data will become a tremendous asset. I appreciate your openness to feedback and know you will use it to continue advancing in your role.

VP, Marketing Operations

Additional Tips

Keep these other tips in mind when providing written feedback:

  • Be specific – Vague, generic feedback is unhelpful. Provide detailed examples.

  • Own your perspective – Use “I” statements like “I noticed that…” rather than accusations.

  • Focus on behaviors – Critique actions within one’s control rather than personality traits.

  • Offer support – Express willingness to assist their development.

  • Allow response – Invite dialogue and be open to clarifying any aspects.

  • Set goals – Agree on measurable outcomes for improvement to gauge progress.

  • Follow up – Give regular, timely feedback, not just annually. Check in on their development.


  • Written feedback provides greater clarity, depth of thought, and record than verbal feedback alone.

  • Structure feedback letters to highlight strengths first before offering constructive criticism and recommendations.

  • Be specific with examples, own your perspective, focus on actions, and provide encouragement.

  • Well-crafted feedback letters supply purposeful direction and motivate continuous improvement.

The most meaningful feedback provides understanding of current abilities along with a clear path for reaching the next level of performance. Following these best practices helps ensure your feedback letters positively contribute to the growth of employees, students, and clients.

how to write feedback letter

When Should You Send Referral Feedback Letters?

Whilst many professions have some minimum correspondence requirements, there are a few key opportunities to connect with referrers:

  • When you first receive the referral

If you are able to see clients soon after a referral is made you can usually get away with waiting until after you’ve had your first consultation with the client. If there is going to be a couple of weeks (or longer) before your appointment, then a quick note back to the referrer acknowledging the referral is often appreciated.

  • After the client’s first appointment/initial assessment

After your initial assessment of the client on the first session, it’s worth sending the referrer a letter letting them know you’ve had the first appointment, your clinical impressions, the treatment goals set (if relevant), your planned interventions, and when to expect the next update from you. Even if your assessment process takes more than one session, it is worth sending the referrer a letter letting them know the client has their first appointment, and any initial clinical impressions you have.

Sending an update midway through treatment helps keep the referrer updated on progress, reassures them the client is receiving treatment, and gives them confidence when making their own treatment decisions, i.e. whether it is appropriate to prescribe analgesics. It also keeps you at the forefront of the referrer’s mind!

It’s important for referrers to know when treatment has been concluded either optimally, where treatment has been successful and there are no further treatment needs; or unexpectedly, due to client disengagement, client relocation, etc.

Characteristics of a Great Referral Feedback Letter

To write a great referral feedback letter, there are a few general principles to follow. Clearly laid out and contains all relevant information:

  • Addressed to the specific practitioner;
  • Your details clearly identifiable, including the most efficient method of contacting you;
  • Standard font size, style, and line spacing;
  • The client clearly identified using industry norms: At a minimum; Full Name, D.O.B, and if relevant, Health Identifier, Insurance Number or Claim number;
  • Use clear concise language and minimize the use of abbreviations or jargon, even if commonly used in your profession, as this can often vary across different countries, hospitals and training institutions;
  • Where possible and appropriate, when providing a diagnosis, use formal diagnostic titles, and associated diagnostic codes to minimize the risk of misinterpretation;
  • Is brief. Unless the presentation or referral clearly calls for it, aim to keep referral feedback letters to one page or less. Not only will it save you time, but it’ll also make it easier and more efficient for the referrer to focus on the most important aspects.

How to write an eBay Feedback Letter

What is a feedback letter format?

Feedback Letter Format: A feedback letter format is a written document that provides comments, suggestions, or critiques on a particular subject or work. It can be sent to an individual, organization, or company as a way to communicate feedback in a constructive and professional manner.

How do you write a feedback letter?

Here are some expert tips for writing feedback letters: Choose the appropriate medium. While you could use pen and paper to create your feedback letter, consider writing an email or printing out a copy that you typed in a word processor. These media tend to appear more professional and may make the reader more receptive to feedback.

Why should you write a feedback letter?

Feedback letters from clients, stakeholders, suppliers, and vendors can be used to motivate the recipients and build better working relationships. The best feedback letters will provide recipients with valuable information that will enable them to improve on weak areas and make informed decisions.

How to write a customer feedback email?

Whenever you write a subject line for a customer feedback email, ensure that you are clear about your purpose and provide some value. Worlds like “Help” and “Reminder” are less effective than you might think. Instead, opt for terms like “Invite” or “Share”. These are less demanding of the recipient and immediately give them an option to engage.

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